Nikkei eases as investors await Greek vote, Fed

Wed Jun 13, 2012 10:10pm EDT

* Renesas shoots up on report of 50 bln yen loan
    * Financials, consumer electronics in favour
    * Risk sentiment hurt by weak U.S. retail figures

    By Sophie Knight	
    TOKYO, June 14 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average
sagged on Thursday after U.S. retail data disappointed and
investors stayed cautious ahead of a weekend Greek election that
could alter the fate of the euro zone, as well as a Federal
Reserve meeting next week.	
    The Nikkei dipped 0.6 percent to 8,536.37 after a Spanish
bank bailout deal failed to dispel concern about a euro zone
debt crisis that could escalate if anti-bailout parties win a
majority in Greece this weekend, potentially setting the country
on the rocky path to a euro zone exit.	
    "The Nikkei is obviously moving up and down but it lacks the
conviction for either a rally or a sell-off," said Makoto
Kikuchi, CEO of Myojo Asset Management Japan. "It would be
better if everyone was just waiting for the Greek election but
investors are also hanging on for the FOMC before they make a
move."	
    Renesas Electronics Corp soared 17.8 percent to 324
yen after the Mainichi newspaper said the money-losing chipmaker
would receive a total 50 billion yen ($630 million) in loans
from banks, after its main shareholders balked at a request to
inject fresh capital. 	
    The banking sector outperformed, putting on 0.7
percent to track gains in its U.S. counterparts after JPMorgan
Chase & Co rose following Chief Executive Jamie Dimon's
testimony about a multibillion-dollar trading loss.	
    Nomura Holdings gained 2.3 percent, while Sumitomo
Mitsui Financial Group Inc rose 1.6 percent.	
    Consumer electronics companies, which had taken a beating
over the last month on poor earnings, also bucked the market
fall. Sharp Corp, Sony Corp and Panasonic Corp
 rose between 1.2 and 1.6 percent. 	
    However, risk sentiment was chilled after U.S. retail sales
fell to a two-year low in May, the latest indicator of a
stuttering recovery in the world's biggest economy.	
    "It's because of statistics like these that so much
attention is focused on the FOMC meeting, to see if they will
ease to boost the economy," said Kikuchi of Myojo Asset
Management.	
    On Wednesday, gains in large caps with low overseas exposure
drove the Nikkei higher than the broader Topix. But
Thursday saw heavily weighted Fast Retailing Co Ltd 
fall in line with the Nikkei, dropping 0.8 percent, while
industrial robot-maker Fanuc Ltd lost 1.2 percent.	
    "On a technical level, the Nikkei and the Topix are caught
between an upside around the 25-day moving average and a
downside of the five-day moving average," said Hiroichi Nishi,
equity general manager at SMBC Nikko Securities. The Nikkei's
25-day moving average is around 8,625, while its five-day moving
average stands around 8,549.	
    The Topix index lost 0.5 percent to 722.61 in thin volume, a
theme for the week as liquidity has also ebbed and midterm
investors stepped out of the game to await next week's pivotal
events.	
    Also on the agenda is a Bank of Japan policy meeting that
concludes on Friday, but many expect the bank will hold fire on
further easing to await a Fed decision on further easing.	
    Foreign investors sold a net 158 billion yen ($2 billion) of
Japanese stocks last week, the eighth straight week of net
selling, Ministry of Finance data showed on Thursday. Amid
uncertainty about a global slowdown, foreign investors emerged
as net buyers of safe-haven bonds instead.
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